Let’s say your friend is hurting. Perhaps there has been a death in the family. Maybe they lost their job or the doctor’s office called and the test results are not good. There is any number of ways to reach out to your friend and love them.
You could send them a text message to let them know you are thinking of them. That would be good. You could call them and let them know how much you care. That might be better. But wouldn’t it be best, in situations where it is possible, to go see them? There is power in presence.
Sometimes we worry about trying to make sure we say the right thing in difficult situations, but your presence communicates, and it probably says more than your text or phone call could ever say. You cared enough to come. That is rare these days.
There’s a difference between praying for someone and praying with them. We can love from a distance with technology, but we can do so much more when we are able to be face to face.
When someone is hurting, consider turning off the computer and putting down the phone to ask them to lunch. Look them in the eye when they speak. Listen to what they have to say. Be present with them in the moment. Feel their pain. Let them know they are loved. Be willing to connect, not just online, but on the deepest levels relationally.
Has the presence of a faithful friend ever been meaningful to you? Of course it has. But person-to-person contact, apart from technology, is becoming a scarce commodity these days. Don’t miss out on the joy of presence and community.
Make no mistake, I am all for technology. I use it every day. But let’s be sure to manage it in such a way that it does not rob us of meaningful and valuable face-to-face relationships with real-life human beings.
In 1 Peter 4:8, we are told to “continue to show deep love for each other.” That is hard to do with a phone in your hand. How will you manage the never-ending flood of information that is coming your way through things like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, email, text messages, etc.?
Being engaged is not just about being in the room. It is about being mentally, emotionally and spiritually engaged. This has application for just about every relationship in your life. Decide you won’t be a slave to the screen.
You may read Steve Greene’s blog at pastorgreene.wordpress.com or you can email him at email@example.com.